Joyner Lucas has released a song that takes revokes the spirit and tradition of ‘real’ hip-hop to lyrics dissect the increasing racial divide in America, by having two actors play out the thoughts, fears, anger, ignorance and beliefs of the two sides of the battle for the American Dream.
Someone who is not aware of Joyner Lucas’s will at first think that the white actor is Joyner Lucas- such is the power of his performance and the intensity of his portrayal of the Trump voting, make America ‘Great Again’ hat wearing American. Yet, the rebuttal from the African America actor comes with equal intensity. However, both men are characters, they are both actors, not Joyner Lucas himself.
The nature of social media is that some people do not watch all of the videos they comment on. Thus, there are comments from people on the Facebook version of this video that show that people either did not comprehend the message, did not listen to the whole of the song or simply are not willing to listen to the other side of America/race relations globally. This is a shame, because this is a very powerful song and video.
Yet, it has to be said that 4 minute is not long enough to break down the complexity of race relations, American history, socio-economic disparities and the source of the imminent explosion of racial tensions.
However, this is a song not a thesis or book. Joyner does a commendable job of summarising the issues of race relations in America. The job is now for the listener or viewer to do their own research and speak to someone outside of their echo chamber ie the opposing side. But for now, a person really needs to listen to the song multiple times and read the lyrics themselves.
If you thought this song was powerful, make sure to check out this ‘woke’ music video by Jussie Smollet.
Here are the lyrics:
With all due respect, I don’t have pity for you black niggas, that’s the way I feel
Screamin’ “Black Lives Matter,” all the black guys rather be deadbeats than pay your bills
Yellin’ “Nigga, this” and “Nigga, that”
Call everybody “Nigga” and get a nigga mad
As soon as I say “Nigga,” then everyone react
And wanna swing at me and call me racist ’cause I ain’t black
Well pound that then, talkin’ about slavery like you was around back then
Like you was pickin’ cotton off the fuckin’ ground back then
Like you was on the plantation gettin’ down back then
I see a black man aimin’ his gun
But I’d rather see a black man claimin’ his son
And I don’t mean just for one day and you done, I mean
You still trapped in a rut
I work my ass off and I pay my taxes for what?
So you can keep livin’ off free government assistance?
Food stamps for your children, but you’re still tryna sell ’em for some weed and some liquor or a fuckin’ babysitter
While you party on the road ’cause you ain’t got no fuckin’ goals
You already late; you motherfuckas needa get your damn priorities straight, way
It’s like you’re proud to be fake
But you lazy as fuck and you’d rather sell drugs than get a job and be straight
And then you turn around and complain about the poverty rate? Fuck outta my face!
You can’t escape problems
You can pray for some change but can’t break a dollar
Got nobody else to blame, so you blame Donald
“They fuck the world with a Make America Great condom”
My voice been back
I’m not racist, my sister’s boyfriend’s black
I’m not racist, my sister-in-law’s baby cousin Tracy got a brother and his girlfriend’s black
My head’s in the cloud
Heard there’s not enough jobs for all the men in your house
Maybe we should build a wall to keep the Mexicans out
Or maybe we should send ’em all to the ghetto for now; I’m not racist
And I never lie, but I think there’s a disconnect between your culture and mine
I worship the Einsteins, study the Steve Jobs, but you ride 2Pac’s dick like he was a fuckin’ god, oh my god!
And all you care about is rappin’ and stuntin’ and bein ratchet, and that’s the nigga within you
Music rot in your brain and slowly start to convince you, then you let your kids listen and then the cycle continues
Blame it all on the menu, blame it on those drinks, blame it on everybody except for your own race
Blame it on white privileges, blame it on white kids, and just blame it on white citizens—same with the vice president
Bunch of class clowns
Niggas kneelin’ on the field, that’s a flag down
How dare you try to make demands for this money?
You gon’ show us some respect, you gon’ stand for this country, nigg-er!
I’m not racist, I’m just prepared for this type of war
I heard Eminem’s rap at the awards, who’s he fightin’ for?
Y’all can take that motherfucker too, he ain’t white no more
It’s like you wanna be so famous, you’ll do anything for attention and a little payment
I can’t take you nowhere without people pointin’ fingers
Pants hangin’ off your ass, you ain’t got no home-trainin’
Put your fuckin’ pants up, nigga!
Put that suit back on!
Take that do-rag off!
Take that gold out your mouth!
Quit the pitiful stuff and then maybe police would stop killin’ ya, fuck!
Yo, what the fuck!?
I’m not racist, it’s like we livin’ in the same buildin’ but split into two floors
I’m not racist, but there’s two sides to every story—I wish that I knew yours
I wish that I knew yours
I’m not racist, I swear
With all disrespect, I don’t really like you white motherfuckers, that’s just where I’m at
Screaming “All Lives Matter” is a protest to my protest, what kind of shit is that?
And that’s one war you’ll never win
The power in the word “Nigga” is a different sin
We shouldn’t say it but we do, and that shit’s what it is
But that don’t mean that you can say it just ’cause you got nigga friends
Nigga, that word was originated for you to keep us under
And when we use it we know that’s just how we greet each other
And when you use it we know there’s a double meaning under
And even if I wasn’t picking cotton physically
That don’t mean I’m not affected by the history
My grandmomma was a slave, that shit gets to me
And you ain’t got no motherfucking sympathy, you pussy nigga!
I’m sorry you can never feel my life
Tryna have faith, but I never felt alright
It’s hard to elevate when this country’s ran by whites
Judging me by my skincolor and my blackness
Tryna find a job but ain’t nobody call me back yet
Now I gotta sell drugs to put food in my cabinet
You crackers ain’t slick, this is all apart of your tactics
Don’t talk about no motherfucking taxes, when I ain’t making no dough
You think you know everything, but you don’t
You wanna copy our slang and everything that we know
Tryna steal black culture and then make it your own, whoa
Fuck, I’m exhausted, I can’t even drive without the cops tryna start shit
I’m tired of the systematic racism bullshit
All you do is false shit, this the shit that I’m falsed with
And you don’t know shit about my people, that’s what bothers you
You ain’t know about no fried chicken and no barbeque
You ain’t know about the two-step, or no loose change
You ain’t know about no 2Chainz or no kool-aid, you don’t know!
And even though Barack was half as black, you hated president Obama, I know that’s a fact
You couldn’t wait to get him out, and put a cracker back
And then you gave us Donald Trump, and now it’s pay back for that
I’m not racist, I never lied, but I know there’s a disconnect between your culture and mine
Yeah, I praise 2Pac like he was a fuckin’ god; he was fighting for his life right before he fuckin’ died, nigga die, nigga!
And all you care about is money and power and being ugly and that’s the cracker within you
Hatred all in your brain, it slowly start to convince you
And then you teach it to your children until the cycle continue
Blame it on Puerto Rico, blame it on O.J
Blame it on everybody except for your own race
Blame it on black niggas and blame it on black citizens
Aim at the black businesses, I ain’t saying I’m innocent, but
I might be any day now, treatin’ everybody how you want and any way how
I swear North Korea bout to bomb us any day now
And now I’m duckin’ everytime I hear a fuckin’ plane now, shit
You know I make a lot of sense, but you just can’t admit it
When Eminem went against Trump, that was the illest
Cause even though he’s white he let us know he standin’ with us
I’m not racist, but I cry a lot
You don’t know what it’s like to be in a frying pot
You don’t know what it’s like to mind your business
And get stopped by the cops and not know if you bout to die or not
You worry bout your life, so you take mine
I love you, but I fuckin’ hate you at the same time
I wish we could trade shoes or we could change lives
So we could understand each other more, but that’d take time
I’m not racist, it’s like we livin’ in the same buildin’, but splittin’ the both sides
I’m not racist, but there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine
By Joyner Lucas.
What did you think of the song?